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What to Expect When You Get Dental Implants

What to Expect When You Get Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of the most effective ways to replace missing teeth with a 98% success rate. The process of getting implants can seem like a long time, but it’s worth it in the long run when you have a complete smile that looks and feels natural. Plus, dental implants are long-lasting and help you maintain a healthy smile.

Advanced Care Dentistry in Woodinville, Washington, Thomas O. Marxen, DDS, MSD, and Andrew Keith, DDS, offer dental implants to qualified patients. Patients' common question when getting implants is what to expect from the procedure, particularly regarding recovery time and post-operative care. 

Remember that each patient’s journey is unique, depending on the health of your teeth and jawbone and the number of implants you are to receive. In general, however, the procedure is relatively straightforward. 

Here’s what to expect when you get dental implants and an enhanced smile. 

Preparing for implants

If you have a damaged or decayed tooth still remaining in your mouth, the first step in your implant process is extraction. Although extraction is common and not a procedure to worry about, it can take a few weeks for your gums to recover before we do the implant surgery. 

You’ll also have an evaluation of the bone present in your jawbone. It’s important to have a solid amount to hold the implant and support the force of biting and chewing with the replacement tooth. If we determine you don’t have enough bone, we recommend bone grafting to increase the integrity of your jawbone. 

Full recovery from bone grafting takes 6-8 weeks. Not all patients require extraction and bone grafting. 

Dental implant surgery

Once you’re cleared for your implant surgery, our staff schedules your procedure. You’ll need to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home on the day of the procedure.

Our dental team places you under mild sedation, and then makes a small cut in your gums to access the jawbone. The oral surgeon makes a small hole in your jawbone to snugly fit the titanium implant. This implant stands in for your missing tooth root. The entire surgery takes one to two hours. 

You’ll feel groggy much of the day, so resting after your implant procedure is smart.

After the dental implant surgery

The period after the initial placement of the implant is when your bone heals and fuses to the implant. Titanium has the special ability to bond with bone tissue. As a result, your implant will be secure, stable, and durable, just like your natural teeth.

If your implant is located in the front of your mouth, our dentists put in a temporary replacement denture for appearances. You’ll remove this denture for cleaning, eating, and sleeping. It can take several weeks or months for the fusion to occur.

Finishing your dental implant

Once your implant has fused to the jawbone, our dentists place an abutment on top of the implant. The is the base on which the prosthetic tooth, or crown, attaches. Your dentist uses just local anesthesia for this part of the process. 

After about two weeks of healing, we’re ready to finish your dental implant with a crown. We take impressions of your mouth and digital images to make a CEREC same-day crown. Your crown attaches to the abutment, permanently, so you’re ready to show off your new smile. 

Side effects of dental implants

Normal side effects that result during your dental implant process include pain at the implant site, minor bleeding, and swelling of the gums at the treated area. You may need antibiotics or pain medications as you heal.

If you’re ready to start the dental implant process so you can show off a complete, beautiful smile, call the Advanced Care Dentistry office or reach out via this website to set up an appointment.

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